Thursday, August 23, 2001

Biz outlook for Hawaii
diminishes, survey says

By Rick Daysog

Local businesses are less optimistic about the direction of Hawaii's economy than they were last year, according to a new survey released today by the Business Banking Council.

In a survey of 449 local businesses, the council -- a local business organization sponsored by American Savings Bank -- found only a quarter of the companies contacted believe the economy is improving while 54 percent believe the economy will remain flat. Another 20 percent believe the economy will see a decline.

That compares with a council study conducted last year in which 39 percent of the respondents expected to see more growth this year. Only 10 percent of those who took part in last year's study thought Hawaii would see a decline this year.

The Business Banking Council's findings come on the heels of a separate business confidence study released earlier this week by the Bank of Hawaii, which found Hawaii companies were tempering their expectations of the isle economy in face of a mainland economic slowdown and continued weakness in Japan.

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